I remember how I felt after Marixa and I got married. Our marriage was (and still is) awesome. Life was good as a couple, but in a lot of ways I felt incomplete as a man. There were things that I was supposed to know how to do that I just didn’t or hadn’t had much practice at. Changing spark plugs. Basic home maintenance. Working with my hands. You get the general idea.
I remember telling Marixa on more than one occasion that we needed to get help to do this or that. I was 20 when we got married, so I hadn’t encountered a lot of the things that I would need to know how to do, but it still felt like I should be able to do them. I was a bit embarrassed because I had to ask for help. I didn’t realize at the time that asking for help was the first step in getting it right. Not having someone do it for me, but having someone teach me. How would I learn otherwise? (My father-in-law has been a great mentor for me over the years on how-to projects. I love that guy. Aside from my own dad, I can’t think of another man I respect more.)
I know guys who instinctively figure things out. It seems like they do anyway. What I really think they have is the courage to march right into something they may not know how to do and persist until they conquer it. One of the reasons I didn’t attempt more of the projects I would eventually learn how to do is I didn’t want to screw them up and then have a bigger mess on my hands. Basically, I was fearful. Not a good place to be.
I have since adopted this attitude: what is the worst that can happen? Ok, so I don’t get it right the first time. I pick back up and do it again. I was so afraid of trying that I had myself convinced I couldn’t do it. Most of the things I thought I couldn’t do I later found out that I could. Some of them really well. (Changing light fixtures is a breeze. Spark plugs aren’t so bad either.)
Life is about learning, making mistakes, correcting mistakes, and learning some more. If we don’t learn, we don’t grow. We sit in the same place and feel powerless. I don’t like feeling powerless. It sucks the life out of you. I choose the path of resistance. I choose to grow.
I can’t tell you how many times I have uttered the words in the subject line. I am glad that the fear of the unknown doesn’t stop me as it once did.
Have you ever said these words? What experience did you have that led you there?